When you need to feel God’s comfort…

We all inevitably hit rough patches in our marriages.  In fact, there will likely be moments when you think “Why did I even marry this man?!”  He may break a little piece of your heart when he forgets your anniversary, or is overly harsh with the kids, or develops a habit of satisfying himself while viewing pornography instead of making love to you.  At these moments, you need comfort for your broken heart.

It’s our tendency to reach for something easy and tangible as a source of comfort.  You might try to find some joy in buying lots of new clothes.  I might turn to excessive food.  But neither one of those choices truly comforts us.  They actually lead to additional grief in the long run!  Instead, both you and I need to train ourselves to run to God at those heart-breaking moments.  He is waiting with open arms.  Plus, Jesus knows what it feels like to suffer grief, betrayal, and a broken heart.

I love these two verses of comfort.  Psalm 103:2-4 “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion”.  And Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”.  Meditate on those 2 verses and ask God to come close to you.  He will, and I believe you will experience the warmth of his love!

One key to regaining your joy during hard times

I know this might sound too simple.  I know you could be rolling your eyes as you read this. But give this a chance.  A huge key to regaining some of your joy during challenges or after a heartbreaking event is…to focus on the things for which you can be thankful.

All of us tend to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have.  By doing so, we become bitter, jealous, and depressed women.  Now if you actually enjoy being bitter and depressed, you just go right on concentrating on what’s wrong in your life.  However, there is a better way to live.  God recommends it in the Bible.  It’s called being thankful for what you do have.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances“.  This means disciplining your mind to focus on what is good and right and beautiful. God puts it this way in Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Do you have shelter and plenty of food to eat each day?  Wow! You’re in the top 10% of the entire world!  Do you have someone in your life (husband, mother, friend, child) who loves you?  Wonderful!  Do your legs and hands work?  Can you see, hear, and taste?  Thank God for the health that not everyone enjoys.  Has God made himself known to you and drawn your heart to him?  Awesome!  That means he thinks you’re special and he decided before the beginning of the world to select you to adopt as his child!

Yes, there is a time to grieve losses in our lives.  But we can’t stay camped out there!  Let’s make a concerted effort to focus our minds on being thankful.  Little by little, you may find your joy returning, even during hard times.

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE

These little things can draw your husband’s heart

You want a quick and easy way to show respect to your husband and improve your marriage?  Just notice a few small things your husband seems to appreciate and then…..do them!  What a concept!  I mean, why wouldn’t we want to please our husbands?  Why wouldn’t we want to be kind and thoughtful?  Colossians 3:12 tells us “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  So, if we could do just a couple things differently, in a way that our husbands prefer, why wouldn’t we extend that kindness to them?

Let me give you some examples.  My husband insists that if we load the dishwasher in a certain way, it cleans the silverware better.  (I don’t think it makes any difference!).  But, I do it the way he likes…because it pleases him.  I know my husband loves it when I leave a little note of encouragement for him on the kitchen counter at least once a week.  So I intentionally do that every week.  I know my husband really appreciates a clean kitchen counter, so I try to keep the counters tidy. Why wouldn’t I want to please him in such a small way?  I’m not saying a wife should have no opinion and should simply be a doormat for her husband.  But I think God would be pleased if I stopped only thinking of myself and started thinking a little more about blessing my husband!

How about you?  Could you intentionally take note of a few things your husband really appreciates, and then actually do some of those things?  It would make him feel respected.  It would draw his heart to you. It would likely improve your marriage.  Sometimes, it’s the little things…

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE

Do you show signs of being a codependent wife or mom?

Can a Christian woman be too helpful?  Can she be too nice?  I believe the answer is yes.  We likely have wonderful intentions, but when we are so “nice” that we enable our husband or adult children to act irresponsibly or to stay immature, we are being too nice.  And many of us fit this description.  We are too helpful.  We are codependent.  We train our loved ones to be dependent on us, instead of God.  We train them to rely on us to do things for them that they should really do themselves as responsible people.  Often, we also train them to expect us to bail them out of the natural consequences of their foolish or sinful decisions.

Why are many women codependent?  Perhaps because we are overly concerned with wanting everyone to like us!  We fear what others think of us.  However, the Bible says in Proverbs 29:25  “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be loving and kind.  Of course we should.  However, we go too far when our “kindness” enables immature and irresponsible and even sinful behavior in others.  We go too far when we try to spare our loved ones from consequences and when we carry their responsibilities.  Galatians 6:5 says “Each one should carry his own load”.  

 Here are 2 questions you can ask yourself to help determine if you are too helpful or too nice:

1) Are my actions preventing my husband or children from becoming mature and responsible?

2) Am I doing things for them that they should be doing themselves?

–or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE

Insist on being yourself in the bedroom

What do I mean by “being yourself in the bedroom?” Well, unfortunately, I frequently hear stories from women about how their husbands are asking them to do increasingly bizarre things in the bedroom.  Their guys want them to perform rather perverse sex acts, or dress like a stripper and do a pole dance, or dress like a dominatrix with whips and chains.

Why are many husbands asking these things of their wives?  It’s likely because they’ve seen such stuff in pornography and they’re trying to replicate it with you!  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this is ok.  Does it seem right that your husband would use you to try to recreate a fantasy featuring another woman he saw on a porn site?  At that point, your husband isn’t even making love to you.  It’s only about the sex act and you’re just playing a role.

The Bible instructs husbands in 1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”  It is not respectful for your husband to ask you to play the role of some fantasy character from a porn site!  I believe it’s right for you to insist that you get to be yourself in the bedroom.  Yes, as wives, we can wear sexy lingerie and yes, we certainly should want to please our husbands, but let’s agree to be ourselves, and not some high school cheerleader or dominatrix!  That’s my take on the subject. What do you think?

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE

Your prayers could change everything!!

Are you and your husband at odds?  Are you discouraged in your marriage?  Pray.  Are you longing for more intimacy and love in your marriage?  Pray.  Are you concerned about the choices your husband or children are making?  Pray.  Prayer really can change everything!  James 5:16 says “The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective.”

I have witnessed God do absolutely amazing things when I have prayed with total faith in His mighty power. I have witnessed miraculous healings.  I have seen God soften my husband’s heart in areas.  I have witnessed loved ones turn to Christ for the very first time.  I have witnessed God supernaturally supplying much needed financial help in the nick of time.  I have even seen God “heal” completely broken computerized equipment in our sound studio!

Here’s the thing.  I don’t have the power to do any of those miracles.  I especially don’t have the power to change my husband’s heart or my children’s hearts….but God can and does change hearts!   In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.  I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”  Awesome!  So, seek God in prayer.  Be persistent in your prayers for your husband and children.  Your situation might seem impossible, but nothing is too hard for God.  He can even change hearts.

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE

Do you share some similarities to Delilah?

While reading the Bible in recent days, I have stumbled upon several women who had tremendous influence over their husbands, but who, unfortunately, used that influence to satisfy their own selfish desires.  It reminded me that, as women, we have a powerful allure with men.  God wired men to be extremely attracted to the female body.  This is awesome when we use that attraction to stay bonded to our husband and when we use that attraction with pure motives.  Unfortunately, we don’t always do that.

We can learn what NOT to do from a few women in the Bible.  Two that come to mind are Delilah and the daughter of Herodias.  Delilah’s story is in Judges 16.  The mighty man Samson is so intoxicated with the beauty of Delilah that he finally gives in to her badgering about the source of his power and he tells her his secret.  The result?  He loses his power, his eyes are gouged out by the enemy, and this once mighty man of God becomes completely ineffective.

The daughter of Herodias is featured in Mark 6.  She is beautiful and dances erotically for King Herod.  He is so enthralled with her that he becomes stupid!  He offers her anything she wants…up to half his kingdom!!  She ends up asking for the head of John the Baptist.  The result?  A mighty man of God, the messenger who paved the way for Jesus Christ, is killed.

Ladies, let’s be careful to wisely use the powerful sex appeal God has given us.  You might find it exciting to turn men’s heads by wearing tight or revealing clothes in public, but think twice before you do that.  You may destroy another woman’s marriage.  You might think it’s cool that you can manipulate your husband through what you do or don’t offer him sexually.  Think twice before you do that too.  You may end up destroying your man and your own marriage.

— or view this topic a 2 minute VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT HERE